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Austria is where Otto comes from.

date of entry 22/05/2004
mileage 414,001

capital Wien

area 83.878,99 km²

population 8.507.786

GDP 415,4 Bill. US-Dollar

official language German

Gunther Holtorf has a special relationship with Austria. After all, Graz is the place where Otto was "born". The Mercedes G-Class has been made there at Steyr-Daimler-Puch (now Magna Steyr) for Daimler for the past 35 years. The design has remained almost unchanged during that time. The car came back here again and again for repairs between the individual stages of the tour. A former employee at the plant now runs a workshop there specialising in the G-Class. Also, this republic in the Alps was often used as a transit route.
  • The G-Class car’s complete drive technology is still firmly attached to the frame. It was not damaged in the accident.
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  • Visiting the homeland: Otto is an Austrian by birth.
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  • Gunther Holtorf has a soft spot for the Alpine region. He loves its green meadows and simple life. "Almost nowhere else in the world is this quality of life to be found."
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  • One of Otto’s first trips, in 1988, took him to the Pasterze Glacier below the Grossglockner Massif. He demonstrated his climbing ability at a height of more than 2,000 metres.
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  • G-Class jam: Fans of this all-terrain vehicle held a gathering in Graz in 2009. This is where these Mercedes cars are made. Otto was there too.
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  • Otto has visited Austria a good dozen times. In 2004, Otto went to Graz to be thoroughly cleaned and checked over.
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  • Faded grandeur: in 2010, Otto’s front section received a new lick of blue paint.
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  • The great crash and its aftermath: after overturning in Madagascar in 2014, Otto travelled back to his home workshop by shipping container. The body was still intact – but, on closer examination, it was also rather lopsided.
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  • First, all the fixtures were taken out and the roof rack was removed...
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  • ... and then the six screws holding the body on the ladder-frame chassis were undone, and Otto stood naked.
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  • Video: Austria – Otto’s journey home

Otto was here before ...


date of entry 15 July 2004
mileage 414,872

Spain / Andorra

date of entry 27 October 2004
mileage 419,821